No, this isn’t a Kit Kat commercial! As students, it becomes all too easy to get stuck in a rut with university work and any other obligations that you may have to juggle. By only focusing on these things, it’s likely that you’ll burn out and your responsibilities will suffer for it. This means that switching off from university and taking some time for yourself is vital. Whether that is an evening, a day or, if you’re lucky enough to have a break coming up, maybe even a few days. For me, this break came in the form of a half term that allowed me to go home for a couple of weeks. Boy did I need it! (And not only because I missed my dogs!) So, this week, I thought I would offer a few ideas on how to take a break from your busy schedule and carve out some time for yourself.
- Set aside time each week to do something that you enjoy
This could be a club, a regular social engagement or your favourite tv programme. Not only will setting this time aside allow you to take a break from your work and give your remaining braincells a break, it’ll give you something to look forward to each week. If you have a class that you particularly hate, organise a get together with your friends afterwards or promise yourself the evening of binge watching Netflix. By scheduling a study pause at the same time each week, you can work the rest of your commitments around it and, that way, nothing will fall through the cracks.
- Allow yourself distance
We all know the feeling of overwhelming stress and fatigue when deadlines are looming and work is piling up. Not to mention the washing up that has been sitting in the sink since yesterday. When it all just gets too much, you need to step back and allow yourself some distance. Whether that means going for a walk or getting the early night that you so desperately need, distance is sometimes the only healthy option. By taking a break, you can return to your work refreshed and with a clearer mind. I promise you, you’ll be more productive this way, just don’t let your pause become longer than the hours you’ve actually spent working!
- Don’t feel guilty
Even if you’ve stepped away from your work for a bit, you’re not truly taking a break if you’re still obsessing over it and that will negate any benefits that there are to gain. Instead of worrying about all that you have left to do or everything that you should be doing, allow yourself to be fully in the moment. We all deserve to put our responsibilities on pause for a little while and do something purely for ourselves.
Mental health concerns are on the rise and it’s little wonder with all the pressure that we put on ourselves. So stop, go home for a weekend, take a walk, read a book, have a movie marathon with your friends or just catch up on some sleep. As long as you meet all your deadlines, no harm will come of having a break and it might just give you the boost that you need.